[Libreoffice] ODF 1.2 and extended

Thorsten Behrens thb at documentfoundation.org
Mon Feb 14 06:22:32 PST 2011

Cesare Leonardi wrote:
> The question is: why using the extended version by default?
Hi Cesare,

well, because we'd otherwise need to stop developing new features
(which have somewhat of an 2/3rd probability of affecting the file
format). ODF 1.1 was approved more than four years ago, and 1.2 is
still not done - this is something that just won't fly. LibO uses
ODF as its native file format, so there's really no other way to
save new features.

Moreover, OASIS actually asks people to implement, before
standardizing - a smart move IMO, since it prevents

> What if ODF1.2 extended will never be ratified? There is someone who
> is pushing for it?
People from LibO, IBM and OOo are pushing for that. Of course,
there's always a certain chance that during standardization, a
specific proposal will be changed. Still, doing it like that is the
best compromise, given the contraints - and given an ODF that is not
designed for providing smart fallbacks.

> Shouldn't the feature that relies upon ODF1.2+ relegated under
> "experimental feature" or something like that?
Not if you ask me. But of course it's the sole discretion of every
user / admin of a LibO installation, to enable the "Save as
ODF1.0/1.1" option.

> And what does ODF 1.2 extended mean? Is the extended version of
> OOo3.0.0 equals to OOo3.3.0? Or, since it is an in-progress
> standard, they differ in some aspect? In other words, can OOo3.0.0
> read a document produced by OOo3.3.0?
> The "extended" terms doesn't guaranteed this. I'm not a developer
> and i have to google around to be sure to have no surprise in mixed
> environment.
ODF 1.2 extended is indeed a moving target. If you want to avoid
surprises in a mixed environment - either strictly limit the way
users can generate documents (i.e. prevent macros, funny fonts,
"formatting by spaces" etc), or use exactly one version of exactly 
one program (we happily recommend LibO, of course). :)

I'd venture a guess that every sufficiently complicated standard
suffers from similar issues - c.f. my (and others) experience with
UMTS, being not-so-very-interoperable between carriers ...

-- Thorsten
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